Desegregating and ameliorating the township: demonstrating Lenasia as a case study

Daya, Priya
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Johannesburg, historically as an apartheid city, was a segregationist city. Today, as a globally competitive city, that segregation is being entrenched by new forms of exclusion. This aim of this thesis is to understand the historic forces that created a segregated city and to understand the current forces that continue to enforce segregation within the city. In understanding these forces, the thesis aims at proposing methods to overcome the segregation within our cities. The thesis is located within the context of the township and focuses specifically on the township of Lenasia. At the international level it explores the idea of modernism enabling social engineering and it also explores the impact that Neoliberalism has had on cities internationally. Within the South African context the impact that modernism coupled with the apartheid ideology resulted in the foundations of city of Johannesburg being segregated on the basis of race. The impact of Neoliberalism on the city of Johannesburg is also explored in order to understand the new forms of segregation that is being enforced within the city. The resulting socio-spatial segregation is explored within the context of the township of Lenasia. The key modernist manifestation that has had a profound impact on the layout of the township is the Neighbourhood Unit. The key neoliberal manifestation that has impacted on the study area is the gated strip mall. Theories aimed at overcoming the shortcomings of the modernist city and the neoliberal cities include: Transport Orientated Developments; Suburban Sprawl; Retrofitting Suburbia; and The Compact City Debate. However David Dewar’s South African Cities: A Manifesto for change was particularly important in terms of overcoming the challenges faced within the context of the developing world where issues of integration, equity and sustainability need to be addressed. Methods of intervention in order to overcome segregation extracted from David Dewar’s Manifesto were extracted and applied to case study township of Lenasia.
Thesis ( M.Urban Design)--University of the Witwatersrand, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, 2012.
Urban renewal, City planning, Lenasia, Townships, South Africa